Vitel tonnè

August 11, 2011

This is not the classic “vitello tonnato” (veal with tunny).

It’s a completely different thing where tuna does not even appear. We are near France, and for a certain period we underwent its rule.

Because of this we find many French sonorities in our dialect, which at times are really strange manglings. As far as I’m concerned, this “vitel tonnè” means “pickled veal” and nothing else.

This recipe is two-hundred years old and I found it in a recipe book of my grandfather written by Grandma Genia.

It is a particular recipe and to make it you must really be a person with an excellent skill in the kitchen.

It isn’t the usual sauce to put on boiled meat to make the tunny veal, which surely remains a great dish, but with different fragrances, besides, this last recipe is about a hundred years younger.

The macerated meat, the anchovies, that little bit of vinegar, the pepper and cinnamon together with the onion give the dish a pleasant spicy, refreshing and appetizing character.


Veal eye of round
1 kg
White vinegar
500 ml
To taste
5 - 6
4 - 5
1 piece
2 leaves
2 stick
Pickled anchovies
1 hard boiled yolk


  • a terracotta saucepan
  • a wooden spoon
  • a copper casserole
  • a sifter
  • a large knife


Take a piece of veal eye of round and put in a terracotta pot, cover it with equal parts of vinegar bianco and water.

Add salt, an onion, two cloves, two peppercorns, a piece of cinnamon and two laurel leaves.

The following day, brown some butter in a copper pan, put in the meat draining it from the marinade and let the meat brown on each side.

Melt in the hot butter ten cleaned anchovies, add a tablespoon of flour, a crushed hard boiled egg yolk and the marinade made for the meat and cook.

When the sauce seems thick enough, add the capers that were previously washed with hot water.

Take the meat out and slice it.  Sift the sauce and use it to cover the meat. Serve cold.